Why does BRS recommend this?
Phosphates are going to be one of the biggest battles we have with a reef aquarium. The BRS GFO works great in filter socks and reactors. For the price Standard Granular GFO is going to be one of the best values when it comes to GFO for phosphate removal.
Granular Ferric Oxide (GFO) removes phosphate from the aquarium and is one of the most commonly used filtration media used in the aquarium industry. GFO is one of the few ways to easily maintain ultra low phosphate on a consistent basis. Maintaining these ultra-low levels will help prevent algae outbreaks as well as treat existing algae issues. Your aquariums glass will also stay clear and free of the green hue significantly longer. GFO is most commonly used in a media reactor like the BRS reactor or media bag.
Phosphate inhibits proper coral growth by incorporating itself into the corals skeletal structure which makes it difficult for the coral to grow by laying down additional calcium and carbonate (alkalinity) ions. Maintaining ultra low phosphate levels will increase the growth of any SPS or LPS coral.
Algae outbreaks are one of the most common reasons for a complete tank shut down. We recommend preventing them by maintaining an ultra-low nutrient level environment where it would be difficult for them to get out of control to begin with. It is much easier to prevent outbreaks than it is to treat existing outbreaks.
GFO comes in two types:
- Granular GFO is varied in its shapes and requires the least amount of flow to tumble. Good for reactors.
- High Capacity GFO is twice as dense as Granular GFO, so twice as much material will fit into a reactor. It's extremely hard and has less dust to begin with. Fewer fines will be created during use and transportation. By volume High Capacity GFO will remove roughly twice the phosphate compared to Granular GFO. Best overall performance.
Special note on fighting existing algae problems: Algae needs three main nutrients to grow: phosphate, nitrate and light. Reducing any one of these will significantly slow down algae growth but may not completely solve your issue. Once algae takes hold, it can be a difficult battle but it is winnable. The best offense against algae is to take preventative measures and attack before an outbreak is apparent. Use the following suggestions and be aggressive if an algae problem is already present:
- Maintain undetectable phosphate levels with good feeding habits and use of a phosphate remover like GFO. 99% of all phosphate is added via foods added to the tank.
- Control nitrate levels by reducing feedings, increasing the water change schedule and maintaining a properly sized protein skimmer.
- Use nutrient-free RO/DI water for water changes and top off water
- Shorten your lighting period or intensity. In some cases aquarists have found replacing old bulbs that have fallen out of their intended spectrum helps as well
- Continuously remove as much algae as possible by hand.
- Add predators nothing helps an algae outbreak as much as critters who eat it all day long. Various tangs, lawn mower blennies, crabs and snails are all good options. It is also theorized that a healthy pod population will also control algae growth before it gets a chance to take root.
Note: All Bulk GFO is packaged by weight
|Product Name||BRS Bulk GFO Granular Ferric Oxide|
While running GFO in a reactor is more efficient, either the standard or High Capacity GFO will work in a canister filter provided you place it in a mesh bag. Try to position the bag in such a way that water flows through the media rather than around it for best results.
I hope this helps!
Provided the flow into the sock isn't so strong that it tumbles the media excessively you should be OK. If the media is tumbled to the point where it begins to break up/you notice brown dust on the filter sock, I would use a reactor for the media or place it in a mesh bag in your sump or back chamber of your tank.
The fine particles should not have any negative effects on your fish and coral provided it is only a small amount. There have been anecdotal accounts of a large amount of fine particles having a negative impact but these seem to be limited to extreme cases.
Removal of the fine particles can be achieved with filter socks, filter floss, or any other fine mechanical filtration.
You can use gfo in both salt and freshwater, it will remove p04 the same.
The GPH through the reactor will need to be set for the volume of GFO so that it has a slight simmer at the top of the GFO in the reactor. If the GFO if not moving it may turn into a brick pretty quickly, or if the tumble is too vigorous then it will end up as as dusty fines from tumbling against itself too hard.
Depending o the changes occurring in the system you may need to change the GFO if the phosphate continues to rise. In systems with more phosphate the GFO will certainly deplete much faster and will need to be changed. Major tank changes can stir up a lot of left over waste which may contribute to the excess levels.
This does not contain aluminum and from our use throughout the years unless overdosed to shock the system GFO does not tend to have a negative impact. Feel free to let us know if you have any further questions!
The recommended amount of GFO is 1.41 in accordance with our instructions and the reef calculator. We recommend running the correct dosage when ever possible as it will limit the impact as well as be much easier to tune and tumble.
There should ideally be enough flow to keep the entire column tumbling to prevent clogging. If clogging occurs try removing some media and adjusting the flow. Feel free to let us know if you have any further questions!
Both will work well on your system! However the High Capacity is more efficient while using less space. The regular will take up more space. Feel free to let us know if you have any further questions!
The best way to know would be to test your water for phosphates using an easy to read phosphate meter like the hanna checker. When phosphates start to increase it would be a sign that the media is depleted and should be changed.
It wouldn't be likely to see any negative effect on your calcium or alkalinity. Its worth noting though, phosphate prevents precipitation (for example the formation of coral skeletons), so by removing phosphates your corals can grow easier which would mean they consume more calcium and alkalinity.
It depends on how much phosphates you have. The more you have, the faster it will need to be replaced and vice versa. As a whole though 4-6 weeks would be pretty typical. The best thing to do would be to monitor your phosphate levels with something like a Hanna phosphate checker. When the phosphates begin to rise that would indicate your GFO is used up and its time to change it.
It won't be as effective as a reactor and you will want to periodically knead the bag, but it would certainly be better then nothing.
The amount of media depends on the size of your tank with the maximum capacity of the reactor being 2 cups of media, though fortunately with your size tank you wouldn't be in excess of that. For a 90g tank you would use 1.5 cups of media. The easiest way to get measurements for most of these products is to use the BRS Calculator which can be found right here:
There is 4 cups in our 1lb container, 8 cups in the half gallon/2lb container and 16 cups in a gallon/4lb container.
The easiest way to know is to use the reef calculator at the link below. You just enter the size of your tank and it will tell you how much to run. In the case of your 90g thats about 1.4 cups (22 tablespoons). How long it lasts depends on how much phosphates you add to the tank (which is largely a matter of how much you feed). Pretty typical is 4-6 weeks though.
I want to mix GFO with carbon in the BRS single reactor. Is it OK to use the cheaper GFO to mix in with the carbon or do you need the high capacity GFO? I have a small system so I use low quantities of both carbon and GFO in my reactor. I was just worried about the regular GFO being too small.
It doesn't cause any issues with the reactor to use standard GFO. Really the choice just comes down to the volume of space you have to work with. If you have a large tank you may need more regular GFO then will physically fit in the reactor. Then you either need to get a larger reactor, or use the HC GFO which only requires half the amount.
GFO should be changed when it is depleted. How long this takes will depend on the amount of phosphate that is added to the tank. A pretty typical tank that would usually be 4-6 weeks or so but the best way to tell is to monitor the phosphates. When they start to increase that would indicate that DI resin has reached its capacity.